National church

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The term national church is usually a reference to a church organization in Christianity that claims pastoral jurisdiction over a nation. The term should not be confused with established church (state church): a national church differs from a state church such that a national church does not necessarily need to be officially endorsed by the state, and even may be persecuted by the government (as Orthodox churches were persecuted under communist regimes).

The term national church (or independent church) is used a lot within, but is not shortened to, the Anglican Communion and Orthodox Christianity. For example, the Episcopal Church in the United States of America considers itself to be the national church of the United States.

In Catholicism, the term national church might mean to a parish catering to immigrants from another nation.


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